Yoga asanas are the best and natural way to keep yourself healthy in today’s busy life. It not only makes you physically but also mentally fit. So if you’re considering starting a yoga practice but are worried about getting started, don’t be.
There are plenty of yoga poses and yoga asanas for beginners that can get you comfortable with doing yoga even if you’ve never done it before, and will help you set up a great foundation on which to build your practice from there!
This handy list of 8 yoga asanas for beginners will walk you through poses that will help warm your body up and ready to do more advanced practices down the line.
#1. Tree Pose (Vkrsasana)
The tree posture improves balance and focus while strengthening the inner and outer thighs, toning the abdomen. Begin by standing tall with your arms relaxed by your sides. Slightly start shifting your weight towards your left leg. Keep gazing to a point in front of you as you make your right leg light lifting the heel up and just balancing on your right toe.
Depending on how balanced you feel, place your right foot against your left leg below your knee or with your hands over your left knee. To expand the right hip, draw the right knee back. Now bring your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position and then on the next inhale extend your arms up towards the ceiling.
Stay focused and calm while standing in this position. If you want to challenge your balance you can even close your eyes. Stay here for at least five long breaths. To release the pose bring the palms back together in front of your heart and then place your right foot down next to your left. Change and repeat for the other leg.
#2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Standing forward bend is a calming posture that lengthens the hamstrings and stretch your lower back. To do this pose, stand in Tadasana pose with your feet together feeling grounded. Bring your hands to your hips and inhale deeply.
On an exhalation move from the hips to fold your torso over your legs. Keep the spine extending, place your fingertips or hands on the floor in front of you or next to your feet. If you can’t reach the floor, place your hands on a block.
Inhale and bring the gaze forward extending your chest to lengthen your spine. Exhale and lift the kneecaps but don’t hyperextend the knees. Stay long through the neck reaching the crown of your head toward the floor and drawing your shoulders firmly onto the back. Bring your gaze to the shins. To come out of this asana, inhale and rise up into Tadasana keeping the tailbone heavy and the spine long.
#3. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
The Cobra Pose is one of the most basic and essential yoga poses. It is perfect for beginners as it helps to stretch and open up the chest, shoulders, and back. The Cobra Pose can also help to relieve stress and tension.
To do the Cobra Pose, simply lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the floor next to your shoulders and press down into your hands as you lift your chest off the floor. Hold the pose for a few breaths before releasing it back down to the floor.
#4. Warrior 1 Pose (Virabhadrasana I)
The warrior 1 pose, also known as Virabhadrasana 1, strengthens and stabilizes your legs, as well as the abdomen, lower back, shoulders, and arms. Begin by standing tall with your arms at your sides.
Take a large step to the right, with your right foot pointing forward and your left foot pointing out to the side. Twist your body upwards towards your right leg, bending your right knee at the same time, so that your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Move your right calf muscle forward, bringing your right knee out to the right side.
On your next inhale, raise your arms to the ceiling, draw your belly in and up, twist and lift your chest higher. Straighten your arms and raise your fingertips up to the ceiling. Take at least five long, deep breaths here. To release, bring your arms back down alongside your body and your head back to a neutral posture. Repeat with your left leg in front.
#5. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
One of the most popular yoga poses is the Triangle Pose or Trikonasana. This asana is great for beginners because it helps improve flexibility and strength while promoting balance and concentration.
To get into the Triangle Pose, start in a standing position with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, extend your right arm out to the side and bend your body to the left, reaching your left hand toward the floor. Be sure to keep your right hand above your right shoulder, and keep your hips and shoulders squared off. Hold this position for five deep breaths before returning to standing and repeating on the other side.
#6. Child's Pose (Balasana)
Child’s Pose is a great pose for beginners as it is very grounding and helps stretch the lower back.
To enter Child’s Pose, get down on all fours and place your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Take your knees a little wider, big toes towards each other, and begin to sit towards your heels as far as your body allows. Move your hands forward and lower your head and chest to the floor. Another option is to use a towel or a block to rest your forehead on. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
#7. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
One of the most basic yoga poses, Seated Forward Bend is a great way to begin lengthening and stretching the spine.
Sit with your legs extended straight in front of you, then slowly hinge at the hips to fold forward, bringing your chest toward your thighs. Reach your arms out in front of you and hold onto your feet or ankles.
If you can’t quite reach your feet, loop a strap around them and hold onto the strap. Breathe deeply and hold for at least five breaths before slowly coming back up to seated.
One of the most important things to remember when starting your yoga practice is to go at your own pace. If a pose feels too difficult, try modification or come out of the pose altogether.